Who’s Who of Devoted Paddlers-John Ozard

Who’s Who of Devoted Paddlers-John Ozard

There truly are a great many of us who are devoted to our passion for paddling – and while some get recognized for it, others never really do.

Badger held a contest for people who love to paddle and who also enjoy expressing their devotion to paddling in writing.  We called it Badger’s HighWater Marks – A Who’s Who of Devoted Paddlers Contest.  There was an “exam” given and the results were.. well.. remarkably high!

And we found many people who aren’t famous or known for their paddling adventures or exploits but who are just as devoted as those who are…..

Here is one of the winning entries* with a significantly HighWater Mark by John Ozard:

John’s entry was originally published on his Facebook profile via his “Notes” and is our first “FEATURED PADDLER”.  You can see that original entry here: Badger Paddles’ High Water Marks Honour Roll John owns a Badger Sliver and is an instructor with many years of experience on the water….

Real Name: John Ozard
Entry Name:
Approximate Age: Old enough to know better, but too stupid to stop.
Country:  United States
1.# of Years Paddling:  ~37.
2.How many boats in your fleet? Household paddle craft (as of 11/22/2010): 12, plus one duck boat (rowed) and one aluminum rowboat.
3.Oil verses Varnish?  Both.Do you have a preference?  Prefer varnished canoe paddles with oiled grip, varnished gunwales, and oiled Greenlandic qajaq paddles. Why? Basically, too lazy to maintain an oil finish, but I do prefer an oiled grip.

4.Where do you paddle?

The Hudson River and the Mohawk River are close to home. Adirondack lakes, like Lake George and Lake Champlain, aren’t too far. Coastal paddling whenever I can. Primarily, I paddle in Eastern and Northern New York.

5.Are you, or have you ever been, part of the paddle sports industry professionally? No.
6.Do you have a blog, facebook or twitter account where you advocate for the power of self-propusion?  Not currently, but I should. Problem is, I’m Facebook challenged (or so I’ve been told). What is it?
7.Favourite wood and paddle shape? Cherry for canoe paddles and cedar for Greenlandic paddles. I grew up using beavertail style canoe paddles, but I’m lovin’ my Badger Sliver.
8.If you were a Badger WaterColours Paddle – what colour would you be?  I’m thinking a dark forest green.
9.Have you ever tipped your canoe  & how did that happen? Oh yes! Aren’t we all just in between swims? A memorable swim was on one fine December day on the local creek – during a snowstorm. Rains from the previous day had brought the creek level up to just about ‘dangerous’. We came around a bend to find the creek offering several route choices around some small islands. Either farther right or left would have been a better choice. A tree was down, completely blocking the channel I chose, right at gunwale height. We rolled out after hitting the tree broadside and then made our way to shore only to find we were surrounded by water. We found ourselves on one of the many islands! After shimmying across the channel on another downed tree to get to the mainland, we set out to search for canoe and gear. The canoe was recovered about 0.25 miles downstream, after getting hung up at a bend in the creek. Did I mention I was wet and cold?

10.What is your favourite wilderness tripping meal/paddling snack?

Idahoan Instant Potatoes.
11.Do you solo? You bet I do.
12.What’s the best advice you have to give to a beginner paddler? It’s about the journey, not the destination.
13.What 3 words best describes the way you feel about paddling or that inspire you the most to get out on the water, year after year?? Ice is out!

14.Where does your heart truly lie: Wooden/Canvas, Composite (i.e. Kevlar, Fibreglass etc.), Plastic or Aluminum? 

I love the look and feel of paddling wooden boats, so wood/canvas canoes are great, wood strippers are beautiful, and skin on frame kayaks are wonderful. I also like the weight savings that can be obtained with modern composite materials. It’s all good. Just being on the water puts a smile on my face 🙂
15.Who took you out for your first time paddling and what was your age when your took your first adventure in a canoe/kayak? My high school buddy first took me paddling in a canoe. I was probably 17.
16.Who was your best paddling partner or inspiration? See question 15. We paddled together through our college years.
17.Do you know of or can you describe a canoe/paddling game?Gunwale Jumping. Using a tandem canoe the two paddlers stand on the gunwales at opposite ends. Each paddlers tries to dislodge the other while maintaining their own position atop the gunwale. 
18.How tall are you and what length of paddle do you prefer? I’m 5′ 8″ and I’ve been settling in on 53-54″ canoe paddles for cruising. Total length is less relevant, however. While longer overall, my 57″ Badger Sliver has the shortest shaft of any in my stable. I like an ~ 84″ Greenlandic paddle and primarily use a 210 cm double blade when kayaking.
19.Have you ever tried Stand Up Paddling?
You bet! Once.
20.Do you have nicknames for your boat(s), paddle(s), and other gear?  If so – what are they? No, I stopped doing that. They were always jealous, thinking I liked the other ones better. My mom always liked my sisters best, too.

*John was one of the many winners in our contest, and for his entry he received a Badger Paddle Sock and Gift Card from Algonquin Outfitters.  To see the winning entry (for the top prize of a Badger paddle, Paddle Sock and gift card from Algonquin Outfitters) by Pawistik, click here: The Mundane of Adventures of Bryan. To see all the winners and more, please visit: Badger’s Who’s Who of Devoted Paddlers on the official Badger Paddles website.
Or visit the websites of our HighWater Mark Professors (a.k.a. the Judges) for this contest:
Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Algonquin Outfitters

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Swift Canoe

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Fat Paddler

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Badger Paddles

Please note: We’ll be featuring other winners and exceptional entries from our Devoted Paddler contest thru-out our winter season so keep an eye out for yours! And don’t forget to watch our Facebook page or Twitter feed for more contests and great giveaways from Badger
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